Japanese Car Importers: Finding Reliable Japanese Car Imports

January 27, 2012

Japanese car imports are among the most popular brands of cars. Just think of Honda, Toyota and Nissan and it becomes self-evident. There are millions of them on the roads. Finding a reliable Japanese car importers isn't difficult.

Where to find Reliable Japanese Car Imports

Places and ways to find reliable Japanese car imports include the following.

Car Dealers
All the big brands of Japanese car imports have well established dealerships. These are ideal places to buy Japanese car imports. With professional Japanese car importers you'll find good service and a very professional attitude.

For those wanting to import cars directly from Japan, you can find good Japanese car imports online directly. There are a number of companies that specialize in this service, including international car shipping. Be aware that the prices will be extremely high.

Look at reviews of the seller to determine reliability and trustworthiness. A number of people will have imported their cars directly from Japan and written online about their experiences. You might need to go into specialist import forums to learn more, but it's worth the effort if you're determined to go this route.

Used Vehicle Sellers or Auctions
Used Japanese car imports do crop up as used cars regularly. Determining the reliability of the seller can be a difficult proposition. If the car is being sold through an online auction site, as will often be the case, the feedback of the seller can offer a good indication of reliability.

Where the sale is private and not online, there is no way to understand how reliable the seller might be. In most instances, if you're planning on buying Japanese car imports, go for a new one through an established commercial seller.

Getting Japanese Car Imports: Dangers Scams and Hidden Costs to Avoid

Online shopping is now a very popular method of purchasing cars, especially Japanese car imports. Because of their sleek look and speed capabilities, buyers can easily be attracted to and grow fond of Japanese cars, and in turn become susceptible to the potential dangers and risks of getting these cars online. When buying cars, take into account the make, price, model, age and efficiency of the vehicle. Here are some of the dangers of getting a Japanese car import online:

No Contact before Purchase
There is no better way to gather the information you need to come up with a good decision in buying a car than to talk to a live person who can answer any question you have and address all your consumer concerns. You are deprived of this benefit or most of the provisions of this benefit, at best, in an online purchase. It may be commonplace to say that a car is a car, whether you see it online or in a dealer outlet. No avid Japanese car lover would want to prolong the turnaround time in their purchase when they can be minimized by doing them online. The sleek look of a Japanese car and the reliability of the Internet are just too tempting.

Recent Recalls
Before deciding to get a Japanese car online and getting carried away by your eagerness, you need to ask yourself if you can really ignore the recent recalls of Japanese cars. Do you not want to grab the steering wheel of the car of your choice and make sure it really does what you expect it to do, before actually buying it? Can you really live with buying a car with no test drive, no inspection under the hood, no touching and no talking to a seller for crucial information?

Hidden Costs
Granted that an online transaction is faster and in some ways more comfortable than actually going to a dealer, you still have to consider shipping. Arranging for shipping could be difficult, and with the high import tax slapped on Japanese cars, you need to realize that a significant chunk of what you are actually paying for is tax and not the actual car.

Payment Issues
If the company only wants payment through an escrow service like Western Union, then beware. This is a scam, and there is nothing you can do to get your money back. Any legitimate company will take payment in the form of a check, bank transfer or other type of payment. It is possible to get your money back with these other sorts of payment methods, if you do uncover a scam.

With performance and reliability issues and the fact that you don't get to see your dealer face to face, it's not surprising that online scams for Japanese car transactions are pretty rampant. It is important to get references from a company and read other customer reviews.

Trusting Japanese Car Importers

Though the cars are pretty decent overall, there are some definite downsides to dealing with Japanese car importers. In recent years importing cars from other countries, especially Japan, has become extremely popular in places like the United Kingdom, the United States and South Africa. The task of importing a car directly from a foreign country is of course getting easier every day thanks to the narrowing of the world through technology. Though it may be easy and in some cases cheaper, importing a vehicle from another country is not completely free of risks.

Here are a few risks that you should always bear in mind before making the decision to import a car from a foreign country.

  • Key replacement. One problem with getting an imported car is that they often come with only one key, and that one key is extremely difficult to replace or duplicate. This can be a major problem, especially for those who lose their keys often
  • Service documentation. Unreliable service documentation is a major issue with the acquisition of imported vehicles. Most imported vehicles come with little or no service documentation, leaving the consumer with no clue as to what may or may not have happened to the car before they received it. It is vital to have any imported vehicle thoroughly inspected by a licensed mechanic upon arrival in your country, especially in the case of a used car
  • Owner manuals. Many imports do not come with owner's manuals. This makes it incredibly difficult to figure out how to maneuver some of the amenities in your import. It can also make it difficult to self diagnose or troubleshoot minor automotive issues
  • Damage or loss in freight. In most cases, once the car has left the port from which it is being shipped, any auto damage or loss is the responsibility of the buyer and is out of the seller's hands. Depending on where and how the vehicle is being shipped, this can amount to a great deal of expense on the part of the buyer. If your vehicle is damaged at all once leaving port, you will be out your money and the seller will get away completely free
  • Customs clearance. It can be difficult to get an imported car through customs and will often require the appointing of an expert to handle this part of the deal. This means another person you have to hire, and more money you have to spend. Though you can pick up the car yourself at customs in many countries, there are often a lot of complicated dealings with tariffs and other issues that are best handled by a professional
  • Only pictures. Particularly since most Japanese imports are used, it is very difficult to know exactly what you are going to get just by looking at the photos provided online by the seller. You will have no actual contact with the vehicle prior to its arrival and when it gets here, you run the risk of finding out that it really isn't what you wanted. There is no test drive, no opportunity to make sure that child car seats will fit in the back seat and no way to check that you can actually sit in it comfortably. There can be a lot of surprises associated with purchasing a vehicle for which you have only seen pictures.
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